One of the two Boston College connections on the Eastern Conference Champion New York Rangers will play elsewhere next season. After Rangers coach Alain Vigneault let forward Brian Boyle know where he stood in the Blueshirts lineup, Boyle said that he will explore free agency, according to Tom Gulitti of NorthJersey.com.
Boyle told the NYP that he's looking for a bigger offensive role elsewhere:
"I was on the fourth line, and I didn't really like it, but it wasn't the fourth line I was used to. We had three lines that could score on any shift - it was different, it was just different."
"I know what my role would be coming back here. In the playoffs and on a team that's going to win in May and June, it's an important role. But everybody wants to score more goals."
On the issue of whether Boyle will or won't return to New York, Vigneault dug in a bit.
"Players all want to play on the power play," Vigneault said. "His role on our team is a very important role. It's first (unit) penalty killing. It's when we've got a lead, we're sending him out. He had a huge contribution to our team. I would say in my dealings with Brian he would probably like to have a different role, but his role on our team is a very important role. If he's satisfied with having that role, I would definitely want him back.
"At the end of the day, players have to decide if they're satisfied with what they're being given, but his 12 to 14 minutes a game that he's getting, they're huge minutes. Some players don't see it, but they're huge minutes to teams having success and I'm hoping that he sees that."
I get where Vigneault is coming from here but he could have been, like, nicer about it, no?
Boyle was drafted in the first round, 26th overall, by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2003 NHL Draft. He spent his first two seasons bouncing between the Kings AHL affiliate, Manchester, and Los Angeles before getting traded to the Rangers for a third round pick in 2010.
The pending unrestricted free agent has spent the last five seasons with the Rangers organization, tallying 90 of his career 100 points (44-46--90) with New York.
At BC, Boyle played all four seasons on the Heights before joining the Kings organization in the summer of 2007. The Hingham, Mass. native was a two-time All-American (first team in 2007 and second team in 2006) and the M.V.P. of the 2005 Hockey East Tournament. He finished his collegiate career with 140 points, (65-75--140), all while helping lead the program to back-to-back National title game appearances in 2006 and 2007.
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